Tigers, Don Kelly avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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Jim Leyland is no longer managing the Tigers, but his favorite player will be staying in Detroit for another year.

Don Kelly and the Tigers have avoided arbitration (and a possible non-tendering) with a one-year, $1 million deal, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com.

Kelly hit .222 with a .652 OPS, failing to reach a .700 OPS for the sixth time in six seasons as a big leaguer, yet found his way into the starting lineup 52 times at age 33. Presumably new manager Brad Ausmus won’t have quite the same infatuation with Kelly as Leyland did, although who knows exactly how manager/utility man love blossoms.

You love who you love, you know?

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.